The AT-301 is widely used for agricultural work and was manufactured by Air Tractor in the US since 1976. The original engine was a P&W R-1340 designed in the 20th of the last century. Although the production numbers were rather high over the years, the fuel consumption and the spare part availability became a real obstacle as the aircraft earns money when in the air. With 100 LL prices in the area of 0.30 $/gal in the 70th, the engine did it’s job and everybody was happy.
Climate and fuel prices change, the job still is the same, costs and competition rise. It’s time to check where costs could be reduced. The RED A03 was the positive answer. A significant lower fuel consumption, Jet-A instead of AvGas, about the same power range – that looked like a real promising challenge.